© a Quinn Martin production
Lots of you have been asking what you can do to help. This year's resolution is to affect change on The Angeles and take back OUR forest. I will have an online petition circulating soon. Thanks everybody.

I originally wanted to blog about my adventures in the San Gabriel Mountains. I have some good stories, like the time I took a donkey to Ralph's Supermarket. But then the Station Fire started. I realized that there is much that needs to be brought to the attention of the mountain going public. Most folks are kept in the dark about how the Angeles National Forest operates. I will raise issues that are important to me, which are hopefully important to all citizens, but if you have any suggestions for discussion here, I am willing.

Here's the big agenda: Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron. I've made a few smart remarks and cryptic comments about her. But now, with the backing of some knowledgeable and trusted friends, it is time for a concerted effort to have her removed from her post. Stay tuned for details. And if you have any information you would like to contribute, anonymously or not, email me at gregsweet4@yahoo.com

I will get to some of the stories, sooner or later. Also, I want to make it clear that I no longer work at Adams' Pack Station, that these words are my own, and that the pack station is not the source of my information - they don't want trouble.

Pride Comes Before A Fall

I have a rumor to report, but this type of rumor is usually true. But first a fact. Many employees of the Angeles National Forest are very upset by the handling of the Station Fire, especially in the beginning. It could easily have been stopped before it moved into the decadent growth.

Now for the rumor. It has been said that when the fire was first reported, Los Angeles County Fire Department offered help, but Jody Noiron refused.

Here are some things to keep in mind. The Morris Fire in San Gabriel Canyon was active at the time and air operations were already in effect. It would have been no problem for one of the Sky Cranes to come make a couple of drops to put the thing out. Now, the Angeles Forest only has one helicopter, and it is mostly used for helitack purposes (delivering personnel, tools & supplies). It can be outfitted with a small water bucket, but... a) why use a little bucket when the Sky Cranes were offered and already in the neighborhood? and b) since the dedicated water droppers were already on scene at the Morris Fire, the Angeles helicopter was being used by helitack crews, and not immediately ready to drop water.

So why would Jody refuse help? It could be because she has received tremendous criticism for not spending enough on fire suppression, and she has been blamed for a dwindling fire crew. Here is a letter (pdf) sent to Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron in December 2007, signed by six local members of Congress, requesting answers on the retention of firefighters within The Angeles...

I would be willing to bet that with so much assistance already in play at the Morris Fire, she wanted to prove that she could handle a fire on her own, that they were not really under-staffed. After all this was a little fire, right? It started close to Angeles Crest Station, probably right near the highway, and was just down the road from Mill Creek Station. It should be easy to put out, right? She could take a stand and do it safely, couldn't she?

The rest is history.


Anonymous said...

You are making total sence to me. I've been wondering like many, how this thing blew up. It wasn't even a Santa Ana day and so near the fire station??? I do have someone on the inside of county and when I run into him, I'll get some of my questions answered.

Anonymous said...

I am truly disgusted that this woman's pride, arrogance and ego prevented her from doing the right thing. And even more disgusted when I think about all the loss that resulted from her disturbing behavior (2 firefighters, animal and wildlife, homes and other structures). I continue to lose faith in government's ability to do their jobs. And we all suffer dearly for this.

Anonymous said...

Jody can now carry on her legacy while destroying the SBNF!

It's a sad day for San Bernardino National Forest.